Solar panel adoption is happening quicker today than it ever has before, which is why more than one per cent of the world’s electricity is now delivered direct from the sun. However Google wants to help improve that even more, by taking data it has from its Google Earth imagery and using it to help people understand how the sun affects their home and whether it would be economical to install panels, and if so, where.
The idea is to make taking on solar panels a lot easier. As it stands, you need to research how strong your roof’s exposure to the sun is, how much electricity that generates and therefore how much money you could save (and potentially even make). That’s not even getting to the task of figuring out whether you are applicable for any government grants and who you should have install the panels for you.
Google Sunroof is a way to put all of that information in one place. Along with satellite imagery to help you discover how much sun your roof gets and on what sides, Google is putting together all of the information you need to begin setting up solar cells on your home.[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BXf_h8tEes’]
The only downside is that it’s only available to those living in a few select locations in the United States for now: Boston, San-Francisco Bay Area and Fresno. However if the system takes off, Google will extend it to every city in the US and from there, the rest of the world.
Sunroof also offers break downs of different purchasing options, from leasing, to loaning to buying the panels out right. The latter option allows for the most savings over the years, but is of course much more expensive.
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KitGuru Says: A lot of the new houses springing up in my neck of the woods have solar panels on them, which is good to see. Even if the murky British weather isn’t going to be quite so good at harvesting up those free photons. Now if we had a rain catching hydro-electric system, that might be more our speed.